OFFER REWARD FOR INFO ON FLA. MOSQUE ATTACK - TOP Muslim civil rights group to seek stepped-up security, religious tolerance
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/12/10) -- Two Florida chapters of a prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy organization will hold news conferences later today in Miami and Tampa to announce a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator of Monday's fire bomb attack on a Jacksonville mosque.
At the joint news conferences, CAIR officials will also call for stepped-up security measures by American Muslim institutions and increased efforts to promote religious tolerance and understanding.
WHAT: CAIR to Announce Reward for Info on Fla. Mosque Attack WHEN: Wednesday, May 12, 3 p.m. WHERE: CAIR-Tampa Office, 8056 N. 56th Street, Tampa, FL 33617; CAIR-South Florida Office, 1601 N. Palm Avenue, Suite 203, Pembroke Pines, FL CONTACT: CAIR-Tampa Executive Director Ramzy Kiliç, 813-486-2529, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR-South Florida Executive Director Muhammed Malik, 305-761-6843, 954-272-0490, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
On Monday evening, an incendiary device exploded outside the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida in Jacksonville. Local, state and national law enforcement authorities are investigating the attack as a possible hate crime.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
WHEN: Saturday, May 22, 2010, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. WHERE: University of South Florida, Marshall Center Ballroom, 4202 E. Fowler Ave, Tampa, FL
Join us for the 2010 Civil Rights Festival: Come ask questions and hear from community leaders and discuss important civil rights issues: job discrimination - immigrants rights - religious and civil liberties - juvenile rights - constitutional rights and much, much more.
* Dr. Donna Elam - Chairperson, Florida Commission on Human Relations * Manuel Zurita - Executive Director, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission * Ahmed Bedier - President, Tampa/Hillsborough Human Rights Council
* Comedian Preacher Moss * Spoken Word by Amir Sulaiman * Performance by 3ilm
ST. CLOUD SCHOOL DISTRICT REPORT CONFIRMS SOMALI HARASSMENT - TOP Dave Aeikens, St. Cloud times, 5/12/10
A St. Cloud school district investigation into allegations of harassment between Somali and non-Somali students was able to confirm that a number did occur.
The district investigated 14 incidents between March 2009 and March 2010. The details are summarized in a report the district released this morning.
The district was unable to confirm an incident involving pork bacon, and allegations against staff were determined to be less severe than originally reported, the report says.
The investigation was launched in March after the Minnesota Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in St. Paul asked the U.S. Department of Education to investigate harassment and discrimination of Muslim students at Apollo, Technical and Owatonna high schools. The Department of Education's civil rights division is still determining whether it will investigate, spokesman Jim Bradshaw said this morning. (More)
CAIR-MN: EVENT TO PROMOTE MUSLIM UNDERSTANDING OF DEAF CULTURE - TOP
(ST. PAUL, MN, 5/12/10) -- On Saturday, May 15, the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) will join several other Muslim organizations in hosting the Deaf Muslim Interactive Symposia, an event that seeks to create greater understanding of deaf individuals in the Muslim community. The event will bring together deaf Muslims and Muslim community leaders.
The event will include interactive games, educational presentations and dinner. The keynote speaker will be Nashiru Abdulai, president of Global Deaf Muslim (GDM). GDM is a Washington, D.C., based organization that advocates for deaf Muslims.
WHAT: Deaf Muslim Interactive Symposia WHEN: Saturday, May 15, 2010; 3 - 7 p.m. WHERE: Great Hall, Coffman Memorial Union, University of Minnesota, 300 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55455
This event is a proactive way for Muslims to learn about deaf culture and work to create greater access for the Deaf community, said CAIR-MN Events Coordinator Toni Newborn.
The event is co-sponsored by Al-Amal School, University of Minnesota Al Madinah Cultural Center, Building Blocks, Minnesota Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Islamic Resource Group, University of Minnesota Muslim Student Association, Sisters Need a Place, and the University of Minnesota Somali Student Association.
CONTACT: CAIR-MN Events Coordinator Toni Newborn, 651-645-7102, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR-MN President Lori Saroya, 612-327-6700, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726, E-Mail: email@example.com
CAIR-CHICAGO: NINTH CIRCUIT'S KHATIB DECISION UNDERMINES FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGION - TOP Christina Abraham, Jurist, 5/12/2010
Christina Abraham [Civil Rights Director, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) -Illinois]
In a feat of apologetic acrobatics, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rendered a decision [PDF file] in Khatib v. County of Orange affirming a district court's dismissal of a complaint under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). The decision uses faulty legal reasoning to arrive at a conclusion that dangerously undermines the well-established principle that the government may not unnecessarily infringe upon an individual's right to exercise his or her religion.
Souhair Khatib sued the County of Orange after she had been held in the county court's holding facility from 9am to 4:30pm and was forced to remove her religious headscarf (hijab) while in the presence of men - a violation of her sincerely held religious beliefs. RLUIPA prohibits the government from imposing a substantial burden on the religious exercise of a person residing in or confined to an institution. In Khatib, the case centered on whether the holding facility at the Orange County Superior Court falls within the meaning of "institution" under RLUIPA. The majority on the Ninth Circuit panel held that it did not. In so doing, it ignored the statute's clear language and intent. (More)
CAIR-WA: NAACP WANTS SEATTLE OFFICER CHARGED WITH HATE CRIME - TOP KOMO Staff & News Services, 5/11/10
SEATTLE -- The NAACP has asked the King County prosecutor to charge a Seattle police officer with a hate crime.
At a news conference Tuesday, leaders of the civil rights organization in Seattle said racial hatred was evident in a video that shows an officer using a slur and kicking a suspect's head and hand.
It also shows another officer stomping on the man's leg. The man was taken down as a robbery suspect but later released when officers realized they had the wrong man.
James Bible, president of the Seattle chapter of the NAACP, said the officer's actions are fall clearly within the state's hate crime statute. (More)
CAIR-NY: NEW YORK'S PAKISTANI COMMUNITY - TOP The World, PRI, 5/10/10
Lily Jamali reports on how the New York City Police Department is reaching out to the Pakistani community there in the wake of the failed Times Square bombing. The man facing charges for the plot is a Pakistani American, and the Pakistani community fears a backlash. (More)
AUDIO: CAIR REP DISCUSSES TIMES SQUARE BOMB ATTEMPT - TOP 5/10/10
Corey Saylor, Director of Government Affairs for the Council on American Islamic Relations, will join us to discuss the Times Square bomb attempt and how the Muslim community is handling the news of another Muslim terrorist on U.S. soil.
FLA. EX-CITY MANAGER SUES HOMESTEAD FOR DISCRIMINATION - TOP Homestead's ex-city manager says he faced discrimination because he is a Muslim and Arab American. Laura Morales, Miami Herald, 5/11/10
About six weeks after suing the city for breach of contract, Homestead's former manager is alleging that the city -- and one official in particular -- had singled him out for discrimination because he is a Muslim.
That councilwoman says Mike Shehadeh's accusations are baseless.
In a complaint he filed against Homestead last month with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Shehadeh, whose given name is Mohammad, says he believes the city dragged its feet in promoting him because of his religion and Arab heritage.
Much of the complaint is directed at Vice Mayor Judy Waldman. (More)